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So is mom still @ home or is she about to go into a NH or already in a NH?

What is the status on the home…???
is mom still filing a homestead on it and does she want to return to the home?
Are you going to continue living in the home? Can you afford to do so without any of mom's income? Who will inherit the home and what is their financial situation?
Are these are important ? to take into account before you or mom do anything.

Medicaid in most states, does NOT require that a Medicaid recipient sell their home. Their home an a car is an exempt asset for Medicaid. Medicaid does not own the home, Medicaid is NOT in the real estate business. But for Medicaid paid for NH benefit, for Medicaid mental health stays and some other Medicaid programs, the states are required to have ability to place a claim or lein on the property to possibly reimburse the state's payments to a facility on your behalf. This is called MERP - Medicaid Estate Recovery Program. Not all Medicaid programs have MERP done either (like any child / infant / mother Medicaid programs and some other community based Medicaid programs, do NOT have any MERP claim or liens at all.

Now how MERP runs is very much dependent on your states death laws, property rights and probate. MERP is designed to be done after death through probate. Now MERP has many exclusions, you should Google your state's Medicaid MERP info site to see what is available. There is a standard caregiver exemption to the property……most states have this set up so that IF you provided care full time for them which kept them out of the NH for 2 or 3 years prior to the NH, then you can apply for the exemption so that you can own the property. Now the caregiving has to be documentable and usually yu need a letter from their primary MD that it was needed. Here is where it gets sticky, some states expect the caregiver property exclusion to be done when they apply for Medicaid. You have to ask how your state does this. Now you also can wait and deal with this after mom has died and then you file for the exemption. Whatever the case, you have to be able to have your own income to be able to pay for everything on the house from this point on. Mom's income (like her SS) can't be counted on anymore if she goes into a NH as that will go towards her required co-pay under Medicaid.

Call the Medicaid office to see how the caregiver home exemption is done. If all this seems overwhelming to you, then go an see an elder law attorney to work this all through for you and mom. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)

Have you been living with her for at least the last two years, with her home as your only residence? If so, the house may qualify as an exemption when it comes time for Medicaid recovery. Otherwise, the answer is, as pstegman wrote, no.
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Too late, once you are on Medicaid, they own everything. Were she to deed it now, a penalty in the amount of the market value of the home kicks in and Medicaid stops paying until the money is accounted for. Don't do it.
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